Canned mercury, dirty Apples, pollution-seeking sweatshirts
Protesters against hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale. Photo courtesy of Marcellus Protest.
Celebrity disses hydraulic fracturing
Forget traipsing around a creepy island with Leonardo DiCaprio. Actor Mark Ruffalo recently went on a much more daring crusade in his latest roll as a passionate environmental advocate speaking out against the practice of hydraulic fracturing, according to HuffPo. After attending an NYC event called "Fracking and Its Effects: A Panel Discussion," Ruffalo told HuffPo in an exclusive interview that risky technologies like fracking will lead to "greater degradation…and greater catastrophes," urging people to speak out on the issue. Visit Earthjustice's Web site to see how you can help put the brakes on fracking.
High-tech sweatshirt detects air pollution
A pair of NYU grad students with a flair for combining fashion and science have created a high-tech sweatshirt that features an image of pink lungs whose veins turn blue after coming in contact with air pollution, reports the NY Daily News. A tiny carbon monoxide sensor embedded in the shirt can pick up air pollutants from a range of sources, like cars and second-hand smoke. At $60 a pop, it's unlikely that the shirts will be mass produced any time soon, but in the meantime the shirts make quite the fashion statement.
Apple's supply chain not so sleek
An investigation by Chinese environmental groups has found that electronic corporation Apple is super secretive about its supply chain in China, more so than almost of all its rivals, reports the Guardian. Despite its clean image, the environmental coalition alleges that making those handy iPhones and iPads have involved using suppliers "in breaches of environmental regulations," such as waste discharge violations. The Guardian quotes Ma Jun of the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs as saying, "Apple can say it is completely 'green' because it is a brand with no factory, but if it doesn't manage its supply chain, these are just empty words."
Fishy levels of mercury found in canned tuna and swordfish
An environmental health group that tested tuna and swordfish in California for mercury contamination found mercury levels as much as three times the federal threshold, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. GotMercury.org, a San Francisco-based advocacy group that performed the testing, says that the results are alarming considering that mercury is a potent neurotoxicant and are calling on the government to lower it's so-called "action level," the level whereby the FDA can pull contaminated seafood off the shelves, from 1 part per million to 0.5 parts per million.